Learn Finnish: Countries and nationalities lesson


Countries and nationalities  

youu will probably have noticed that they all end in either lainen or läinen.

This is because lainen/läinen is a suffix by means of which Finnish derives nationality names from simpler, shorter words, usually names of countries. The form with a is used if the word to which the suffix is added contains an a, o, or u (thus tanska | lainen, puola | lainen) and the form with ä is used elsewhere (thus venä | läinen, sveitsi | läinen).

This sort of matching-up of vowels is called vowel harmony; you’ll learn more about it later on in this unit.

if i Notice the irregularities – unexpected -a-, -jä – in the words for ‘Finnish’, ‘Swedish’, and ‘Russia’.

Nationality            Country

suoma|lainen                     Suomi         

ruotsa|lainen                     Ruotsi

venä|läinen                       Venäjä

 eesti|läinen                       Eesti

englanti|lainen                 Englanti

amerikka|lainen.             Amerikka

kanada|lainen.                 Kanada

australia|lainen               Australia

 ranska|lainen.                 Ranska

walesi|lainen                   Wales

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